PRYSE Summer Academy


Supporting recently arrived refugees in improving their language, academic, and storytelling skills.  

OUR Flagship program

PRYSE Academy is our flagship summer program and the impetus for the formation of our nonprofit organization ARYSE. Since 2013, it has expanded its programming to reach more immigrant and refugee youth.  We now offer two sessions of PRYSE academy, and we intentionally plan it to end before school starts so that campers are fully prepared for the school schedule and feel confident in their English skills.


PRYSE Academy focuses on creating a low stakes environment where campers can develop English, participate in creative expression workshops to create personal storytelling projects, and play sports to foster community and friendships. ARYSE partners with various organizations and individuals to implement quality art workshops and activities at PRYSE Academy. 



ARYSE has served over 150 students through PRYSE Academy since its formation. Students who have attended PRYSE Academy represent 10+ countries and immigrant communities in Pittsburgh, e.g. Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia (Somali and Somali-Bantu), Bhutan, Burma, Sierra Leone, Côte d'Ivoire, Uzbekistan, Congo, Namibia, Sudan, Mexican, Guatemala, and El Salvador.


An expectation for PRYSE Academy participants is  an individual or group project using a form of creative expression. Participants present their project(s) to their families and a public audience at the Final Showcase on the last day of the program. This expectation is a strategy for storytelling and provides a structure for helping campers articulate their experiences, goals, and identities.